Friday, January 25, 2008

Worst Paint Description EVER!

Dear Benjamin Moore,

My husband wanted me to let you know that he thinks that you should rename your color that you currently call "Waterbury Cream." He thinks you should re-name it "some dehydrated kid just urinated on our wall."

Hope this helps!
Rich and MaryBeth

Life is What Happens While You Are Busy Making Plans

It has been a retrospective kind of week inside my brain. All sorts of things have happened to make my "what if" gears start turning.

First of all, it has been so interesting talking to Grants speech therapists. Most of them are grad students and a few undergrad seniors who will graduate in May. In speaking with them and their professors I was intrigued by how many different opportunities will be available to these girls when they get their degrees and by how interesting their work is.

Secondly, two lovely ladies who have commented on my blog as of late (thanks guys!) are lawyers. This was my original plan. I am a planner! I had the whole thing mapped out quite nicely. I was going to get my chemistry degree (at least I did that!) and then go to a specialized law school that accepted mostly technical majors like myself to do specified study in intellectual property and patent law. I was going to be an extremely successful professional. AND THEN...
I met Rich. I knew the very moment I met him that I was going to marry him. Sounds corny, I know, but it is true. AND THEN...along came Jamie much much earlier than planned or expected. I ended up finishing my degree and senior thesis project with a husband and a one year old. AND THEN...we found out two weeks before my graduation that wewould be moving to Japan. So, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to look for child care and a job when we knew we were moving to Japan in 10 months, and certainly law school was out of the picture. Given that, we decided it was a good time to have baby #2. And so it was.

By the time we returned to the states I had a kindergartner and a 3-year-old. We also had no clue what the future held for us beyond the 3 year tour in Pensacola. And, without realizing it, I became the quintessential volunteering, PTA, field trip driving, cupcake baking SAHM. You know what? I was/am darn good at it. Then all my friends started having babies (at a normal age) and all their little ones were so cute and smelled so good that I decided I HAD to have another. I do not feel that I have lost myself in the process. I asked my husband about it once when Lance Armstrong's ex came out with her book about it and Rich's reply was, "Nope, you are still the overly-opinionated, bitchy girl you've always been."

Anyway, now I look back and realize that I hated chemistry. Well, I didn't hate chemistry. I hated any job option that would have been open to me without going to grad school (like in oenology) or to law school. I never intended to be an actual chemist. If I would have realized that sooner, I could have put my analytical skills to work in a more interesting and diversified way like the speech pathology and linguistics girls at TCU. If I had done something like that, would I still be working? Would I still have chosen the SAHM tract? It would have been more "portable" and more appealing than titrating QA samples until I stuck a pipette in my eye. Chemistry was interesting and sometimes hard as hell (cuz I likes me a challenge), but in the end I think I half did it just to prove I could do it. I knew about half-way through my junior year that I really liked math and physics better, but I'm such a "finisher" that I found it impractical to change majors...

I know that I can always go back and do whatever I want to whenever I want to. I've spared you all the bajillion posts I wrote while I was discerning going back to med school this past year. In the end, what I discovered through that process is that Rich's schedule is so freakin crazy and the boys' schedules are dictated by school, and that our family will miss out on a lot of (if not all)opportunities for fun leisure and travel time if I try to add in unbreakable commitments of my own to the mix. And, I am not unhappy with where I am. Like I said, I like to think I'm pretty good at it. I just know I could be good at other things too, and that is where the "what ifs" start to creep in.

Edited to add: Thank God that as I have gotten older I care less and less if other people assume that I am a SAHM because I was not capable of anything else. When I was younger that used to make my hair fall out!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Tweenager on Fashion

8pm food diary (Jan 24):
*organic oatmeal and 2 slices turkey bacon
*triscuits (I eat alot of triscuits!)
*Wendy's Junior cheeseburger
*a couple of Grant's fries
*small salad and bowl of chicken soup
*4 hershey kisses (damn those pretty red foil wrappers!)

*2 apple slices

First Jamie says, "Hey, mom, that shirt you're wearing looks like a grandma shirt."

I respond, "I've never seen your Grandmother wear a shirt that looks remotely like this. And she doesn't shop at Banana Republic."

Then he says, "Well, it looks like some other old lady then."

A few minutes later he says, "Those boots look like the ones on the mean nanny with the whip on the Charter commercial where the mom blocks out TV shows."

So, I guess I am an old-lady-wanna-be-hooker-dominatrix-chic.

I don't think that's what I was going for.

Catch Up Time

I haven't done so well with the Bridget Jones' style food diary, have I? Well, excuses, excuses. We have had major adjustments to the schedule around here with the onset of speech therapy in addition to regular school. Think we have it sort of figured out now though. So, here are the first two days as a catch-up and then I will try again for a more Bridget style....

Day 1 (Jan 22)
* apple/cinnamon oatmeal
*4 triscuits, 2 baby dills
*red beans and rice French Roll
* 2 Hershey Kisses
*1/2 banana
*Do not try to enjoy red beans and rice with brown rice - I love brown rice, but that SUCKED!
*I am not including beverages unless they contain calories. You really do not want to know how much coffee, diet coke, and tea I drink.

Day 2 (Jan 23)
* 8 triscuits, carrots and ranch
* banana and 3 strawberries
* baked potato (1/2 Tbs margarine, 1 TBS light sour cream)
Holy Crap! Is that really all I ate yesterday? Yep, think so. Busy, crazy day.

Know what today is??? January 24th! The day of the Science Fair! Do you know what that means? Life can return to pseudo-normal! The way it was before Nov 1st when all this Science and History Fair crap invaded our lives. I get my life back! I love today! I am sure, however, that it will be a brief respite before they dream up new ways to torture the child (and subsequently me), but I'm enjoying it for now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dear Crew Scheduling,

Have I mentioned that I love you? You all are going on my Christmas card and baked goodies list! How did you know that that February 29th was so important to me? You have let me down so many times in the past, but you are making up for it big time what with the Christmas at home and now this. I think this turn of events will even allow me to finally forgive you for calling the home phone instead of the husband's cell phone at 3am causing an entire house of woken up, grumpy children.

An FO's wife who will be living large thanks to you!

Its Official! The girls' weekend is ON! Do you know the last time I spent more than 24hours away from my children??? May27-30, 2000. That's right, EIGHT years ago!

So, Husband of The Year (HOTY - hee hee!) said I should plan myself a reward get away for surviving the concurrent Science and History Fairs and the holidays. So here is the plan:

Friday: Susan arrives
Check in to Hotel Ashton
Spend girl time acting like juvenile teenagers getting ready for the prom
Cocktails on the rooftop at Reata
Carriage picks us up and takes us to Bass Hall to see Chicago
Carriage picks us up after show and returns us to Hotel for signature dessert (trio of creme brulees!) and champagne.
Saturday: Sleep in late as we want.
Shopping, spa, massages
Tea at the Ashton
more girly giggling
fun and dancing at 8.0
Sunday: Sleep in late
brunch at the Modern
return to our normal mommy lives refreshed and happy!

I guess I should add in a plug here for Fort Worth. Heaven knows I think Texas is BIZARRE (must I, once again, mention the Texas-shaped swimming pool?), but in all honesty, Fort worth is a fabulous place to live. There is so much to do here. You can't even do it all in one weekend. You would have to devote at least a full weekend just to skim all the world class galleries and museums here. And, we have the most fabulous and vibrant downtown. Our zoo is one of the best in the country. Fort worth really is the "Cowboys and Culture" they claim it to be.

So there. I said nice things about Texas. Pick your jaw up off the floor and get back to work. I will resume making fun of Texas helmet hair and Bush loving blind conservatism tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Your Mission Should you Choose to Accept It

There was recently an article on Yahoo News about what songs are the absolute best for working out. They had deconstructed it to quite a science. While this deconstruction and analysis greatly appeal to this science nerd I just do not have time to evaluate every song's "beats per minute" and "positivity of message." I just know what I like. A song that makes me want to keep moving and makes me feel good about myself or just generally happy.

So, I'm making over the playlist. Your mission is to let me know what your favorite workout songs are so that I can add some of them to my playlist. No suggestion is too strange.

Here is my personal favorite. (Mom, do NOT click, you will so be mortified that your daughter would listen to such trash.)

Public Humiliation a la Bridget Jones

I think this is what rock bottom feels like. When you honest to God do NOT recognize the person you see in the mirror. I have let myself go, people. When did this happen? This shit has got to stop. So, here is what I am thinking. Remember how dear Bridget started every entry with her current fags, glasses wine, pounds, etc.? Well, I don't smoke and have zero interest in telling you what I weigh. However, if I had to tell the whole damn internet every blessed little thing I ate every day and account for my visits to the gym then, maybe, I would be shamed into getting my freaking act together. I am not this person I have become and will not become her. Okay, so what if I just said I've already become her. What the hell ever, you know what I mean.

I'm off to contemplate my realistic plan for self improvement before my husband leaves me for some flight attendant who did not eat like 8 bazillion valentine chocolates yesterday.

It feels pathetic to post this, but I know me and humiliation is a great motivator.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fire! Fire!


"Mom, there is a fire in the oven. And, since it is not medieval times I don't think there is supposed to be one there."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Especially for Annie

No one is going to get a bigger kick out of this than the Evil Queen.

While talking to my Texas BFF today about outfits for our upcoming girls' weekend she says to me, (Annie, steel yourself) "Oh yeah, my husband thinks you dress waaay ra-cy."

Does racy mean something different in Texas?

I'd type more, but I can't stop laughing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Romance In the Technology Age

WARNING: It may make you puke!

Obviously Rich spends a lot of time away from home being that he has not one, but two, piloting jobs. In my attempt to keep the "romance" alive after 13 years on the road I decided to just send him a link to the you tube video of Mr. Hottie Buble's Everything. I expected no response.

Instead, what I got was a link to Home complete with a lovely note about how the song is a complete rendering of his life.

While all of this is sickeningly sweet I think it is necessary. Seriously, many of you who read whatever drivel I offer up over here happen to also be pilot's wives. I think you would all agree that it can sometimes feel like he is heading out for some kind of adventure leaving you behind to deal with the drudgery of day to day life with children. Knowing, and being reminded, that he doesn't always want to leave and misses the day to day with you makes it all easier to deal with.

Spoiled AND Selfish

Evidence that I am both:

1. Grant has been on the waiting list for speech therapy for almost a year. I finally got a call over the holidays that there would be room for him in the Level II class this January. My first thought - Yay! My second thought not even a nanosecond later - Shit! Now he can't just stay at school from 9-2:30 anymore. I have to pick him up after lunch every M/W and drive him clear across town to the university. Crap! I will never get anything done ever again. That's me, mother of the year, cursing my son's chance at being able to speak like a normal person because i find it inconvenient.

2. By clear across town I mean a 8-10 minute car ride. Seriously, I forget that people commute and drive all over the place and crazy crap like that. I am spoiled. Very very spoiled in this regard. I have a "circle." If it happens outside of that circle, then I really do not need to go there for any purpose whatsoever. (I will justify my spoiledness a little here by saying that you too can make this choice if you are willing to sacrifice a little. Most of you would be shocked to find out how small my house is for a family of 5. But, that is what it is worth to me to live in town and never drive more than 10 minutes to ANYTHING.) Anywho, speech therapy and preschool are each, radially from my house, inside the circle. However, preschool to therapy is a diameter of the circle. The circle was only designed with radial trips in mind....

3. There is a small part of me (and I think Rich too ) that does not want The G-man to learn to speak correctly. Do you know how freakin cute he is when he talks? Rich's Aunt Susie forbid us to get him therapy because then Grant won't call her "Aunt Chewie" anymore when he comes to ride her "horhes." Again - selfish mother wants son's development to suffer for the sake of her own entertainment...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where Are the Boxes?

How could I not have figured this out sooner?

I've been crawling out of my skin with some kind of vague anxiety and general sense of restlessness. I've tried painting (you know how I love a painting project!) I've tried some redecorating projects while I wait for the big remodel to start. I thought our house was too small and we should look for a new one. Was it the anticipation of the new year looming ahead of me? Was there something major I was forgetting to do?


It is time to move. I have now lived here longer than I have ever lived anywhere in our 13-year, 8-move marriage. It has been 3 1/2 years. And yet, Uncle Sam won't be sending me any packing orders. I'm here. In Texas. In this house. Living this life. Indefinitely. Unless I choose to change that. I find it both refreshing and unnerving at the same time. Am I happy to be settled, or am I bored because I do not know how to not move? This is just SO weird.

OMG - Does this mean I'm a Texan?

Monday, January 14, 2008

So, what did you do this weekend?

I know you are SOOO jealous of mine!

Yes, that is bacteria from my unwashed, and then washed, fingers. OOOH GROSS! And, those tennis balls and tennis court were a lot more work than the picture lets on. Then, darling son broke with my policy of the "No-win A" The policy states that you must work hard enough to get an A, but not hard enough to win anything. Winning always requires more from me. things like getting up at 7 am ON A SATURDAY to drive you and your project to the High School for the all-school history fair. Blech!

Seriously, we did have time to squeeze in some fun this weekend. In doing so we (Rich and I) had some major revelations.

1. We are now the parents of big kids.
2. Parents of big kids do not have to have babysitters and can be spontaneous.
3. How is is that at a table of 12 people able to be spontaneous we are the only ones to have ever been married, not to mention have kids (3!) and STILL be the youngest people at the table?
4. We really were young when we had kids! (DUH!)
5. That has actually worked out quite well for us...33 and baby-sitter free!
6. This is a whole new phase in our life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

4 going on 50 (with a gratuitous picture)

Grant: Mommy, want to play Thomas?

Mommy: well, let's finish putting away the laundry and vacuuming the living room first, then we can play Thomas

Grant: It would make more sense if we played Thomas and then cleaned the living room.

Grant: Mommy, are Jamie's petri dishes coming today?

Mommy: No, they will be here tomorrow.

Grant: You know, Mommy, you should have ordered them sooner.

In mommy's head: Shut up, Grant.

Grant: Jamie, Do you have a lot home work today?

Jamie: Kinda

Grant: Well, Jamie, you better work faster or you won't have time to go to tennis today.

Grant (yelling from bathroom): COOOONOOOORRR, your uniform is on the floor. Your 'sposed to put in in the dirty clothes cabinet.

Grant (now muttering under his breath): arrrgh, Connor, you make me SO mad!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Who cares about New Hampshire? VOTE HERE!

I can't decide! I have all of the white quilted Euro shams and coverlet etc., but can't decide if I want the red paisley or something more subtle and formal. If you don't already know this, I love red - it is kind of the "neutral carry-through" in my house. Opinions anyone? I have to choose quickly!

Complete materialism and no substance today.
I actually really do care about New Hampshire, but I have kind of decided to not talk politics on the 'ol blog. (We'll see how long I can stick to that!)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Customer Service 101

Lesson 1 - If the phone rings during business hours - ANSWER IT!!!!

Lesson 2 - If, possibly, you are not answering the telephone because you have laryngitis or have had your vocal cords removed, then answer your damn email!

Lesson 3 - If a customer orders an item from your website that is being delivered via overnight or 2-day air and you know that your supplier of said product will not be delivering any inventory to you for another 7 days, then maybe, just maybe, you should contact the customer to let them know the item is not in stock!!!!!! Most people do not order 30 agar filled petri dishes for recreational purposes! They are ordering them because they NEED them in a timely manner!

Thank the Lord for Techno-Geek Parents!

Because it is no thanks to any of you that I have been led from the dark ages to the beauty of Pandora. Did you all know about this? I had to hear it from my mother! Have
I fallen into the vast pit of mommy induced un-hipness? I LOVE this - radio stations that play whatever I'm in the mood for, and only what I'm in the mood for that I can whittle away at until they really "get" me.

So, go make yourselves some stations if you haven't already. Happy Procrastinating!

Oh, and lets just talk about the genius who can create a genome project for music...I'm awed!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Really Good Day (otherwise known as bragging)

First of all, I am happy to have made it to mass minus Dad with zero instances of me screaming at children to get themselves ready and to quit screwing around. Then, at mass, my bestest Texas gal-pal Heidi sat down right behind us with her precious 3 month old. About half-way through mass Grant leans over to whisper to me that he hasn't seen Eliza (the baby) for daaaayyys. (In fact, it hasn't even been 24 hours) At the sign of peace, he repeats this to Heidi. She invites him to come back and sit with her. Next thing I know I hear lots of "aawwwing" behind me. I turn around to see little Eliza being held by my Grant each of them grinning and cooing at each other. He could not have looked more proud if he had just been named a Rhodes Scholar. I decided it was in poor taste to snap pictures during mass, but in retrospect I wish I would have taken one anyway. You will just have to imagine to excessive sappiness of the imaginary photo.

At dinner time, not one child complained that there was something in it that their palate didn't fancy. They actually ALL said it was yummy and, get this - they all said "thank you" for dinner as they - holy crap - cleared their own dishes without being asked!!!! Is this the twilight zone? I do not care that it was paper plates. The point remains the same!

Later, I was putting Grant to bed and discovered at story time that I had forgotten to fill the all important ice-water cup. I got distracted by the new episode of Desperate Housewives on my way to correct this. When I finally regained my wits and returned to Grant's room with the water, I discovered this....

The Con-man had taken it upon himself to read to his baby brother! Seriously, melts a mother's heart. One of those rare moments when you think to yourself, "you know what, maybe I'm getting it right after all."

Don't be alarmed. I will return to bitching tomorrow. The Science Fair is giving me plenty of fodder to fuel that. But tonight I'm just going to sleep with the elusive feeling of maternal success.

(Just noticed how tomato red that wall looks in that picture. I promise it is not that bright. Its actually a very brickish Spanish red.)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Calling All Coffee Snobs

So, I have been drinking coffee long enough now to be more specific about why i do or do not like certain coffees. I grew up in a house with a mother who was a coffee snob long before being a coffee snob was the yuppie, trendy thing to do.

My husband did not drink coffee at all when we married and has only recently taken up the habit. He grew up in a house with a dad who drinks mainly instant decaf (swill, I tell ya!)

This is why it annoys me to no end that all of a sudden the hubs has an opinion on what kind of coffee I brew in the morning. He likes it seriously "smoky" as I call it. You know, like a French Roast. I do NOT like that at all. Just my preference. My opinion being that if I enjoyed that taste, I would have taken up cigarettes years ago and I'd be 12 pounds lighter.

I like my coffee equally bold, but spicy and acidic. Not smoky. Think Italian Roast and the like.

First of all, I feel that my opinion outweighs his due to my years of coffee drinking. Newbies to my addiction don't rate a vote. Second of all, I'm the one who actually, physically makes the coffee. Also making it my choice, right? Thirdly, I drink mine black 50-60% of the time meaning the flavor of the actual coffee is more important to me than to a man who loads his with creams and sugar.

However, in the back of my head, there is this quietly nagging thought about, "what if his palate is more refined than mine?" Yes, I am really that competitive.

Have you ever read a post equal to this one's patheticness? I never promised that I was interesting. I just spew out to the internet whatever is on my mind no matter how mundane or idiotic.

So, how do you like your coffee?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I was going to write. Really, I was. But. Then. I realized I was just going to whine. And Then...Tessie over at Messing With Texas* manged to put my incoherent whining into coherent thoughts and really, don't you think it would have been rude of me to just copy and paste into my own blog?

Then, the boys' report cards did not make me jump with glee.

Then, miracle of miracles the husband on reserve DIDN'T GET CALLED IN TO FLY! And, seriously it was the very, very best present I/we could have asked for. You'd think that would have put an end to my whining, but you'd be wrong. because,

Then, I had to deal with Jamie and his History Fair Project. What the hell is the History Fair anyway? Who dreamed this crap up? People who couldn't grasp the idea of hypothesis, results, and conclusions at the Science Fair? (Ok, I might be a bit biased here, whatever) But, really I think this is some kind of large scale bitch-slap to me by all the people whose science fair projects I scored at virtual zeros because they didn't do an experiment, they wrote a report. So, they invented a stooopid fair that is all about doing an overblown report. AND it was due the day they returned from Christmas break???? WTF?

Now, I am having a full scale mental breakdown, exacerbated by fluctuating hormones, about money, weight, diet, home remodeling, house cleanliness etc, etc, etc, There is no end to the list of the things I have had woe-is-me, shaking-fists-at-the-sky-temper-tantrums about today. Believe me, you don't want to hear about most of it. Suffice to say that I illogically believe that everyone on the planet (okay, all of my friends at least) have it way better than me. They are all fabulously rich, and skinny, and their houses are perpetually perfect, and they all grow their own organic vegetables and they have an almost non-existent carbon footprint and I just SUCK! And, yes, I realize I do not have leprosy or live in a dirt floor hut shooing flies off of myself all day, but seriously this kind of relativity is not making me feel any better. And, there are certain family dramas at the moment which are just salt in my wounds and pissing me off quite royally. Further pisses me off that I can't vent about it here. privacy, family, blah blah blah...

Okay, I've ripped off the band-aid, holiday blogging break is over. Whining is out of my system (sorta kinda) and I can resume normal blogging tomorrow about mundane things like the coffee debate in my house. (and aren't you proud that I didn't stoop to typing , "the coffee debate that is brewing in my house???) I promise I'll take my optivite before I post again.

*If you are not reading this blog, believe me you should be. She is freaking HI-LARIOUS! She sounds so fun, Ive thought about stalking North Texas to find her and force her to join our book club and be our friend.